Southern Society


US History Life Before the Civil War Southern Society
Students learn about the society of the southern states during the early to mid-1800s, including how the environment contributed to the agriculturally-based economy and way of life. Then, they evaluate a chart about the different social classes found in the South in the mid-1800s. Finally, they elaborate on the impact of slavery on southern society.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the society of the southern states during the early to mid-1800s, including how the environment contributed to the agriculturally-based economy and way of life. Then, they evaluate a chart about the different social classes found in the South in the mid-1800s. Finally, they elaborate on the impact of slavery on southern society.

Objectives:

  • Describe southern society.
  • Explain the impact of slavery on southern life.


By the mid-1800s the population of the South was about four million people. Over one-third of these residents were slaves. Most Southerners were farmers whose crops included cotton, sugar, and rice. Some of these farmers owned slaves who were required to help harvest and plant crops, tend to the farm, and cook and clean the house.

Objectives:

  • Describe southern society.
  • Explain the impact of slavery on southern life.

With farming so profitable for Southerners, there was no need to develop industry or larger urban areas. Only a small percentage of Southerners lived in urban areas—most lived on farms. Larger farms were called plantations. Some of the largest plantations spanned thousands of acres and required hundreds of slaves to provide the work on them. Life on these plantations and in the South in general was different than it was in the North.




Washday on a Southern Plantation; High Society in Savannah, Ga.


Think about life in the South during the 1800s. In a word or short phrase, post what comes to mind. To list multiple items, separate them with a comma, like this: cold, windy.

Post your answer

Responses might include: plantations, farming, slaves, overseer, wealth, poverty, etc. Explain to students that in this experience they are going to learn about life in the South and how the agricultural economy and slavery influenced southern society.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Life Before the Civil War Unit.
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